The Airport Roundtable can make recommendations to the Airport Authority about ways to address noise concerns but the Airport Authority is the governing body in charge of the airport and this group is responsible for implementing policies to address airport noise. The Authority has absolutely no control over how and where the aircraft fly. Once the wheels of the aircraft leave the pavement, the aircraft is under the control of the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control. Safety is the #1 concern and keeping maximum separation between aircraft takes precedence over noise related concerns.
Activity levels at airports are measured by aircraft operations. An operation is defined by the FAA as a takeoff or a landing. So, a “touch and go” conducted by a training aircraft counts as two operations. In 2005, Centennial Airport accommodated 344,619 aircraft operations. That’s a takeoff or landing every 80 seconds. However, most of the traffic is concentrated in the daytime hours. The record year at Centennial occurred in 1998, with over 466,000 aircraft operations.
Centennial is currently ranked number two in the nation among airports that are not certified for airline service, ranked number #25 of all airports (including airports like LAX, Chicago’s O’Hare, and New York’s La Guardia) and Centennial is the only airport in the US to have three FBO’s (Fixed based Operator) ranked in the top 25 of all US based FBO’s.
Centennial Airport is open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in most weather conditions. Office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, and there is an Operations Specialist on duty around the clock.
The airport has a rush hour just like the highways and roads. The heaviest traffic volumes occur between 6:00 am and 10:00 am, and again between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
Airplanes must take off and land into the wind. The primary wind direction at Centennial Airport is from the north and south, and the primary sets of runways are oriented accordingly. About 55 percent of the traffic at Centennial Airport takes off to the south, and the remainder takes off to the north. What areas experience the greatest amount of aircraft over flights?
The areas immediately north and south of the airport experience very high volumes of aircraft traffic. Almost 90 percent of Centennial’s traffic (356,560 operations in 2004) use the north/south runways. A number of smaller aircraft use the east/west crosswind runway as a means to keep separation from the larger jet traffic. Areas directly east of the airport are impacted by these operations.
The Airport Authority is charged with addressing all noise complaints. You can reach the Noise Office at (303) 790-0598 Ext. 2909, or you can call the noise complaint hotline directly at (303) 790-4709. When using the hotline, please keep the following guidelines in mind:
There are currently a number of noise abatement procedures in effect at Centennial Airport. The following measures are recommended practices to reduce sound levels in the vicinity of Centennial Airport. These procedures should be used only when practical; in all cases safety and air traffic control instructions take precedence.
In addition to the above procedures, we encourage all tenants and airport users to follow the National Business Aircraft Association’s Fly Quiet procedures. These procedures can be found by clicking here.
Centennial Airport is open 24 hours a day and interstate commerce laws require the airport to remain open 24/7. Most night flights provide air-ambulance flights that provide transport to patients, blood and organs to points throughout the state and country. Other night flights are for light cargo and both law enforcement and the news media use the airport regularly at night.
Federal Aviation Regulations specify a minimum altitude of 1,000 feet over congested areas and 500 feet over non-congested areas. There is an exception to this rule, helicopters and aircraft that are in the process of taking off or landing.
Airport noise is considered any noise created by an aircraft taking off, landing, overflying, and taxiing on the ground at the airport.
Modern aircraft have become much quieter over the last two decades. The largest business jets operating at Centennial are remarkably quieter than some of the smallest aircraft using the airport. All aircraft are categorized by the amount of noise they make. The loudest aircraft are called “Stage I” and “Stage II”. Both will be banned from using Centennial Airport by 2015. “Stage III” and “Stage IV” aircraft are the quietest. Many aircraft at Centennial meet “Stage III” requirements and some even meet “Stage IV”.
Centennial Airport welcomes a variety of military aircraft, from Initial Flight Screening (IFS) for the US Air Force using the Cirrus 20 single engine propeller airplane, to jet trainers such as the US Navy Goshawk T-45 jet or the US Air Force T-6 Texan turbo props. Fighters such as the Colorado Air National Guard F-16’s or the Navy’s F/A-18 fighter jet also make an occasional stop, as do US Army medevac Blackhawk helicopters and others. Flight crews in fact regularly fly and land at different airports in order to stay proficient. In addition, airports like Centennial Airport, must by law allow such aircraft to land at no cost to the federal government or the Department of Defense. In 2016, military aircraft represented less than one percent of all landings and take-offs at Centennial Airport or APA as it is known by its airport identifier.